Monday, November 17, 2008

The Cheater

Werit, another dwarven blogger, posted recently his thoughts on Multi or Two boxing. I don't really want to rehash that discussion over here, but it did occur to me that I might have been a bit harsh on those that multibox.

Overall, my position on Werit's blog was that Multiboxing in general was cheating to some extent and shouldn't be permitted. But, I wanted to clarify my position a bit more. I'm not totally against multiboxing, specifically in a PvE setting, only because the player really doesn't garner a huge advantage over the other players. I can attest that at times, it's very hard to get a good group together, even in a large guild. Last night was a prime example, one member of the guild needed a healer to help run his DK through Steam Vaults so he could complete a few quests to ding a level, but no healer was to be found or none that would volunteer to help him out with his agenda. This would have been solved if he was able to multibox his DK with his healing spec shammy.

There are even some people that can run complete raids with a multibox system, which considering the cost and number of computers to do this, they must be either independently wealthy or just plain nuts. But they don't have to rely on incompetent people to group with them or having to deal with greeders, ninja looters or whiners. Eliminating most of the problems that occur when grouping with others.

My point is, having a multibox system in this situation wouldn't give anyone a huge advantage in the game. They would have to spend twice the amount of time or more leveling each character, maxing them out on stats and gear. It would take a really dedicated person lots of free time to get them all to end cap just to participate in end game raiding and rep grinds. I barely have time for the two characters I have on just one account. I can't imagine the hassle it would be to run multiple accounts with several different characters at one time. The inventory management would just be insane.

The only true advantage is when running this same system in a Battleground or on a PvP server. Part of PvP is coordination with others using very carefully timed attacks against multiple objectives. I once encountered someone running 4 warlocks in a BG and it was mass destruction. The ability at the push of a button to have them all focus fire and send their pets in at a group of targets was just singly very unfair to those that had to coordinate their attacks using basic chat windows. We, the masses, were at a distinct disadvantage. He was able to defend one position the entire game without breaking a sweat.

So my position is that in a PvE setting, I honestly don't have an issue with multiboxing, but in a PvP setting, it should be outlawed and considered cheating, period. Of course the gaming companies will never stop multiboxing due to the amount of income that alone generates for them. Blizzard even had a promotion recently, get a friend to sign up for a membership, get double experience for them and you while grouping together. Very handy for someone who wanted to multibox.

I'm not happy about the concept, but they aren't going to change it any time soon, so most of us will have to just deal with it.

That's all I have to say about that!


  1. Eve Online was even more overt with their Power of 2 promotion which was specifically oriented towards multiboxing (it provided a discount to existing subscribers who added a second account.)

    I posted on my blog my reasons for multiboxing in EQ2. But I would agree, I don't like the idea of dual boxing in PVP and competitive environments.

    And even though I do it, having game developers encourage it worries me. I'd be afraid things might regress to the point where these games almost start requiring a second account to play. Of course, its doubtful that the slippery slope would extend that far, but I think its still a valid concern.

  2. I began multiboxing last August to take advantage of the Recruit a Friend program to check out the Horde side. Since learning how to do it, in my view it's the only way to level.

    I have friends on more than one server so this allows me to level two characters faster than levelling one. Seriously. No waiting for groups quests, less downtime to drink.

    When I get two toons to 80 I can send one to a different server.

  3. But I know you won't take advantage of multiboxing in a PvP setting. That is where the real problem comes from and you can't limit the rules just to exclude those that PvP, so they will never ban Multiboxing because it generates too much free income for them, Blizzard or any other MMO company.

  4. Having tried, once, to multibox two toons in a BG, I disagree. IMHO, the ability to focus fire more efficiently is greatly offset by a loss in flexibility. You end up using a very narrow set of class skills, to the overall detriment of the team.

    This Blizzard employee put it well:

    "There is nothing to differentiate [a multiboxer] from one of the very common groups of 'pre-made' players, aside from slightly more effective focus fire, and less strategic flexibility in dealing with threats, much greater vulnerability to crowd control and that being 'split' by resurrection is devastating."


    "From a certain perspective, the strange thing about this stance is that the multiboxing player has the least advantage in a battleground. A battleground is a closed system, the teams are ideally even, the multiboxer is more prone to disruptive assaults from other players, and the numerical advantage is wholly nullified in this scenario."